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November 01, 2021

American Veterinary Medical History Society

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Virtual meetings, Feb. 24 and June 30


On Feb. 24, the society held a videoconference regarding the Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital in Monterey, California. The hospital, whose buildings and original interior constitute the only remaining World War II military equine hospital, is in jeopardy of being demolished. Margaret Davis, Marina, California, provided a description and history of the station and hospital. Dr. Karen Hassan, president of the Fort Ord Equine Foundation, spoke about the political issues involved and the ongoing campaign to save the hospital. Greg Krenzelok, director of the Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group, provided additional background on the station, which he has documented and photographed for archival purposes.

On June 30, Dr. Zbigniew Wojcinski, immediate past president of the AVMHS, welcomed the virtual attendees. Dr. David Scott McVey, director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and associate dean of the UNL–Iowa State University Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine, presented “The History of Vaccines and the Impacts on Veterinary and Human Medicine.”


Polly Weldon
Polly Weldon
Conrad S. Schelkopf
Conrad S. Schelkopf
Lydia Hall
Lydia Hall
Brooklyn Biese
Brooklyn Biese

J. Fred Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest, sponsored by the Donaldson Charitable Trust
First place—Polly Weldon (Florida ’22), for “Unexpected Allies: How an Original Thought from the 1930s Saved the Florida Key Deer from Getting Screwed”; Conrad S. Schelkopf (Kansas State ’24), for “Scrapie: A Brief History of the First Prion Disease”; third place—Lydia Hall (Purdue ’21), for “Zoo Pathology: A Historic Lens on an Emerging Field”; and fourth place—Brooklyn Biese (Purdue ‘22), for “The Journey to Corticosteroid Treatment.”


Similar to previous years, members had been sent a postcard prior to the meeting. This year’s postcard, in conjunction with Dr. McVey’s presentation on the history of vaccine development, featured a photo of an H.K. Mulford Co. rabies vaccine kit from the early 1920s, used in the treatment of rabies in humans.

Reports were presented on ongoing AVMHS activities, including the publication of two issues of the bulletin Veterinary Heritage in December 2020 and June 2021; the distribution of 18 certificates to veterinary hospitals and clinics as part of the society’s Registry of Heritage Veterinary Practices, which honors veterinary hospitals and clinics nationwide that are more than 50 years old; the addition of stories to AVMHS Time-Bites, a series of historical ministories, links to which are regularly published in the Veterinary Information Network’s email newsletters; and the 2021 J. Fred Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest.

Dr. Wojcinski sent a letter of congratulations, on behalf of the society, to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in support of the dedication of a state historical marker in recognition of Dr. Augustus Nathaniel Lushington (1861-1939). Dr. Lushington was the first African American veterinary graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in 1897 and is believed to be the first African American to earn a veterinary degree in the United States

Four AVMHS Interim News & Comment newsletters were produced and sent to the membership in September and December 2020 and in March and June 2021.

Dr. Wojcinski had initiated the process of reviewing the society’s bylaws, which had not been comprehensively reviewed since 1999, and had reviewed them with the help of Dr. John de Jong, an AVMHS board member, and Susanne Whitaker, AVMHS secretary-treasurer. A revised draft was circulated to members in late January, and several suggestions and comments were received. The revised bylaws were approved by the AVMHS membership at the meeting.

Dr. Susan Aiello, Townsend, Tennessee, editor of the Guideposts book project, provided a progress report on the project. After almost two years of planning and preparation, the society’s “Guideposts for Veterinary Professionals” was published on May 11, 2021. Inspired by the one-health teachings of William Osler, MD, the pocket-size book will be given to veterinary students at their white coat and blue coat ceremonies. The book, focusing on topics intended to inspire and guide students as they enter the veterinary profession, is organized into five sections, plus a special chapter on Dr. Osler and an appendix with biographies of several prominent individuals in veterinary medicine. With support from the Merck Veterinary Manual, the society is providing free copies to one class per year over four years to every veterinary school and college in the United States and Canada. The editorial team is in contact with the schools and colleges to determine how many copies will be needed and when to ship them for distribution.


 Dr. Kennedy Arrington
Dr. Pat Kennedy Arrington
Dr. Ash
Dr. Marianne Ash

Dr. Pat Kennedy Arrington, Louisville, Kentucky, president; Dr. Marianne Ash, Lafayette, Indiana, program chair and president-elect; Dr. Zbigniew W. Wojcinski, Hillsborough, North Carolina, immediate past president; Susanne K. Whitaker, Ithaca, New York, secretary-treasurer; and members at large—Drs. John H. de Jong, Weston, Massachusetts; Arnold Goldman, Canton, Connecticut; John Howe, Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and Robert E. Treat, Manchester Center, Vermont